Sunday, February 3, 2019
The 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (5th Sunday after Epiphany)
The Revised Common Lectionary passages for the Lord’s Day are:
First Reading: Isaiah 6:1-8 (9-13), Psalm: 138
Second Reading: I Corinthians 15:1-11
Gospel Reading: Luke 5:1-11
The liturgical color for the day is: Green
The theme of call looms large in the texts this week.
Many Presbyterian Churches will be singing “Here I Am, Lord” this Sunday. It is Hymn 69 in Glory to God, and I know, without looking, that in the old blue hymnal it is Hymn 525.
Isaiah’s vision is of the heavenly court where seraphs are in service to the Holy One. The presence of the Lord is so grand that even the hem of the Lord’s robe fills the temple. Isaiah, in realization that he is before the extravagant holiness of the Lord, (notice the triple ‘holy’ in the text for emphasis of just how holy the Lord is) has this realization of his own inadequacy. Even with pulsing pain of singed lips, when the call of the Lord comes, Isaiah is ready to respond. “Here I Am, Lord”
In the Gospel Lesson, we have another Isaiah experience in Peter. It is at the surprise catch of fish that Peter invites Jesus to go away. Like Isaiah, he recognizes holiness and self identifies as a sinful man. Along with Peter on this experience are those Sons of Thunder—James and John. This trio will soon be the witnesses on the Mountain of Transfiguration. For this experience, it is the three of them who hear Jesus say, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” The text concludes with, “…they left everything and followed him.” There is an immediate nature to their response.
The sermon this week should deal with the urgency of the call of God on our lives as the Church in the 21st Century. In our consumerist culture many come to our churches to receive—“what is in this for me?” These texts that center on call fly in the face of our consumerism and invite an urgent response from us. The dialogue in Isaiah and Luke are invitations to us all.
“Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” To this urgent call of God, may we be catching people and singing along the way, “Here I Am, Lord.”